Sorry for the April Fool’s entry, but… I had to. I just had to!
“My agenda is simple enough,” she said, looking up from her phone. “We’ve been watching you for some time. It’s clear you don’t know nearly as much as we’d hoped, and that’s a shame. We could use you. I’m here to convince you.”
Charlie regarded her speculatively. “You know a whole lot about me. How? And why? What do you need us for?”
“True, I know a lot. But not everything. How well did you know your parents?” Charlie’s eyebrow raised in surprise.
“Not all that well. Certainly not as well as I’d have liked. I was about 7 when they died.”
“I see. And how much did you know about what they did for a living?”
He frowned. “Where is this going? What does it matter what mom and dad did? They were scientists. Not the same branches of study though. Mom was a physicist, dad was … a biologist? Geneticist?”
She was nodding slowly as he spoke. “Yes, that’s right. Your mother was quite an accomplished physicist in fact, and your father was a geneticist of some renown.” She paused, tapping the edge of her phone against the wall a moment before continuing. “I’d hoped that you’d acquired the time travel technology to go back and help where you’re needed. What a disappointment that you know so little. I presume your sister knows no more than you?”
Silvia had been 4 at the time their parents died. “No, even less. She doesn’t really remember them. She’s only known the educational stewardship we were put in afterward. I’ve found bits and pieces of info about them from time to time, but …”
“But it’s not enough to replace really knowing them.”
“No.” His voice was low; long years of grief were welling up inside. To distract himself, he asked, “You sound like you know more about them.”
She looked at him, sympathy in her eyes. She nodded at his question. “I do, yes. Reg and Karen Cline, deceased for almost 13 years. Two children, Charlie and Silvia. Reg was a geneticist, Karen a physicist, both working for branches of Biodyne Corporation, both entrusted with high-level clearance.
“The time travel technology you’re using was your mother’s creation, Skeeve. Or at least it was her work that paved the way for it to exist.” Sandra’s voice held a note of awe, of reverence. “Your mother’s work is done now. Sure, there are refinements to be made, but the technology is solid. But your father’s work …” She looked him in the eye. “Charlie, we need you to find out what your father was working on.”